JPMorgan Tries to Deflect Blame for Long Relationship With Jeffrey Epstein

JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s decision to end dealings with Jeffrey Epstein was made easier because there was no one within the bank to defend him, said an executive at the country’s biggest financier. said in affidavits taken in connection with two lawsuits spanning 15 years. A one-year relationship with a disgraceful investor.

Mary Erdoes, head of wealth and wealth management at JP Morgan, said in a March deposition reviewed by The New York Times that she was concerned about repeated large cash withdrawals from Epstein’s many accounts. said he made the decision to remove himself from the client in the summer of 2013. Bank.

Staley, JP Morgan’s chief private banker and Epstein’s chief advocate, left the bank in January 2013, and he announced the annual review of Epstein’s accounts. was done.

Erdeeez, who pleaded guilty in 2008 to soliciting prostitution from a teenage girl in Florida, said Epstein, who is a registered sex offender, is considered a “high-risk client.” Erdeeez said he didn’t know when Epstein was labeled as such.

“Mr. Staley was Epstein’s advocate within the bank and was Epstein’s senior relationship manager,” Erdeyes said. “And no one defended Mr. Epstein and the situation I was seeing, so I left Mr. Epstein.”

A decade after JP Morgan ended its deal with Epstein, nearly four years after Epstein committed suicide while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges, executives at the country’s biggest banks The question arose as to what Epstein knew about Epstein’s abuse of a dozen teens. Girls and young women are crucial in the cases facing banks.

In two lawsuits — one filed by lawyers representing Epstein’s victims and one by the U.S. Virgin Islands government — JP Morgan filed a claim that Epstein had stolen dozens of bank accounts. He claims to have ignored multiple warnings that he used certain funds to fund illicit sex. Worked in mansions in New York, Florida and the Virgin Islands. The lawsuit alleges that JP Morgan chose to keep Epstein as a client after he was registered as a sex offender so that Epstein would bring business to the bank.

There was also a firefight at JPMorgan, with some suggesting that Staley should have known about Epstein’s sex trafficking at the time and had an obligation to inform others. The bank has named Staley as a third-party defendant in the lawsuit to pursue liability for damages JPMorgan may have to pay.

Staley, who is set to be fired next week, has claimed in court documents that he has done nothing wrong or inappropriate. His attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

Staley, known on Wall Street as “Jess”, had to step down as Barclays’ chief executive in 2021 after UK regulators investigated her previous relationship with Epstein.

JP Morgan has repeatedly denied any knowledge of Epstein’s sex crimes. In a statement, the bank said of Epstein, “In retrospect, our association with him was wrong and regrettable, but we did not assist him in his heinous crimes.”

Victims’ attorney David Boyes, who is suing the bank, said Erdős and other JPMorgan employees were “fully aware of Epstein’s large cash withdrawals and Epstein’s sex trafficking” for some time. I was there,” he said.

Dozens of depositions have been filed in the case so far, and Manhattan U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff is speeding up the depositions. On Friday, JP Morgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon testified for several hours during a deposition at the bank’s headquarters in Manhattan.

Lawyers have debated how much of Dimon’s deposition can be made public. The bank issued a statement on Friday, saying Dimon had never met or emailed Epstein and said, “I have no recollection of discussing his account internally, nor have any decisions been made regarding his account. I wasn’t involved in either,” he said.

Mr. Dimon’s testimony could be crucial because Mr. Staley reported directly to Mr. Dimon when he ran the bank’s Private Wealth Group and later an investment bank.

Erdeyes’ depositions, some of which were previously reported by The Washington Post, believe Staley reported directly to Dimon from 2006 until he left the bank. said. Erdeyes has reported directly to Dimon since 2009, and before that to Staley, he said.

Erdeyes said in sworn testimony that he did not know why Staley left the bank, but understood that “it was a mutual decision.”

Elodes said in sworn testimony that he personally told Epstein that he was firing him as a client during a visit to his Manhattan home in the summer of 2013. She said it was the second time she had met him in person.

Erdeeez said she was not satisfied with Epstein’s explanation that the large cash withdrawals were related only to air travel. But when lawyers for the victims questioned whether the withdrawals could have been for payments to “women and girls,” Erdeyes said he didn’t know how Epstein spent the money. Stated.

Asked why a similar cash withdrawal by Epstein didn’t result in an earlier dismissal, Erdeyes said he was “unaware of any such discussions.”

Court documents filed in the lawsuit suggest that Epstein’s transactions have caused red flags within banks for years. JP Morgan, in court documents originally filed publicly but now sealed, discussed whether to file suspicious activity reports (SARs) for some of Epstein’s transactions from 2000 to 2019. It said dozens of bankers were involved in the decision.

The documents do not provide details about these transactions. Banks file SARs with U.S. regulators to warn of potential money laundering, fraud, and other illegal activities.

The document also reports that the bank’s board held two meetings in the fall of 2019 to discuss “Epstein-related issues.” The document does not contain any information about those meetings that took place shortly after Epstein’s death. The document notes that in the 15 years the bank has been dealing with Mr. Epstein, the board has never met to discuss a deal with Mr. Epstein.

The board meeting came at a time when many news outlets, including The Times, were reporting on the bank’s relationship with Mr. Epstein and his close relationship with Mr. Staley.

Judge Lakoff, who presides over both cases, is considering whether to grant class action status to the cases filed on behalf of Epstein’s victims. This status could allow well over 100 women to participate in settlements with banks.

Lawyers for the victims have already reached a preliminary $75 million settlement in a class action lawsuit with Deutsche Bank. Deutsche Bank became Epstein’s primary bank after JP Morgan fired him as a client in 2013. Deutsche Bank ended its relationship with Epstein at the end of 2018.

Erdos said in sworn testimony that he “doesn’t remember having a conversation with anyone at Deutsche Bank about Mr. rice field.

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